E.R. RAMACHANDRAN writes: The official spokesman was holding forth on the plans of the State Government to celebrate Dasara as never before.
“You might have all seen the photographs of CM B.S. Yediyurappa, the district-incharge minister Shobha Karandlaje, the Mysore MP C.H. Vijay Shankar and the mayor of Mysore Ayub Khan splashed all over the newspapers this morning. The whole team met in Bangalore to discuss how to make the Dasara in Mysore the grandest ever!”
“Why was the meeting not held in Mysore when the topic was to discuss Mysore Dasara?,” somebody asked.
Nobody was going to bring down the euphoric spokesman from cloud 9.
“Let’s not go in to trivia. The point is, in addition to the Rs 10 crore earmarked earlier, another Rs 10 crore has been announced to the kitty. Perhaps this year Dasara will be in a scale grander than the times when the Maharajas were ruling the State.”
“What about money for roads, circles and fountains which no doubt have to be beautified every year?”
The spokesman was getting impatient. These blokes don’t understand even elementary things, he muttered to himself.
“Of course. Roads have to be asphalted, footpaths have to be leveled and parks have to be spruced up. All these cost money. We hope he will announce more money for these projects which are as important as the Dasara itself.”
“Doesn’t the Mysore City Corporation allocate funds for roads, footpaths and parks?”
“Yes, they do. But due to the summer heat and the monsoon rains most of these works have a shelf life of only six months. Dasara being an international event, you need to have infrastructure of international quality which should last at least till next April when the MCC budget will be available again to take it up to international standards. Moreover, so many foreigners will be coming.”
“Wonderful. Mysore is perhaps the only city in India which gets budget twice a year to improve the same set of roads, parks, footpaths to international standards. This is fantastic. Is the CM releasing any more funds?”
“You know, the rains, which played truant initially is back in full force. All the dams are filling up fast. Rains, particularly in Mercara, have been copious. Our CM has thanked the people of Mercara for these rains and as a part of baagina, is releasing Rs 30 crore, as a mark of gratitude.”
“Coorigs are so lucky! I shudder to think of their fate had it not rained there!”
“Then he would have released the same amount as drought relief fund. Our CM is very kind.”
“Any other largesse from the CM expected?”
“Dasara is still two months away. Depending on his mood and situation he might release more and more, if he finds our roads, footpaths and parks are not up to mark. He might also give more funds to MCC at the recommendation of the district minister. More money could land in the Dasara sub-committees, too, if they find infrastructure is lacking somewhere. Please understand it is an all-round effort. We cannot even make a guess how much money will flow ultimately.”
“Isn’t it wonderful so much more money will flow to Mysore?”
“By grace of God, we will have all the dams overflowing by Mahalaya Amavase. By the grace of our CM, I hope funds too will be overflowing for Dasara,” concluded the spokesman.
What a pity we don’t have a person like Mokshagundam Visvesvaraya now, to build a dam, arrest the flow of money and harness it for the welfare of people?